With no refusal in effect over the weekend and the warnings that law enforcement was stepping up enforcement, several drivers simply ignored it. After the multiple arrests Friday night and Saturday morning, it continued into Saturday night and Sunday with another eleven arrests.
SATURDAY MORNING STORY
As Super Bowl LIII quickly approaches, starting February 1, 2019, Montgomery County law enforcement agencies will begin to conduct increased DWI enforcement to hopefully send a strong message to drivers that driving while intoxicated in Montgomery County will not be tolerated this Super Bowl weekend. These increased operations will continue through Monday, February 4, 2019.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, in conjunction with both state and local law enforcement agencies, will increase No Refusal Operations and DWI Enforcement throughout Montgomery County – from East to West. The goal of this initiative is to prevent traffic-related crashes and deaths caused by impaired drivers.
During this time period, the District Attorney’s office, through their No Refusal TxDOT Grant, will provide nurses, prosecutors, investigators, and judges at various locations throughout the county to assist law enforcement in obtaining blood evidence in cases were a DWI suspect refuses to provide a scientific sample. The process is simple but effective: 1) an officer makes a DWI arrest and asks the suspect for a breath or blood sample; 2) if the suspect refuses, the officer then meets with a prosecutor who drafts a search warrant for the suspect’s blood; 3) the warrant is sent to an on-call judge who will review the warrant for probable cause; 4) if probable cause is found, a nurse will then take a sample of the DWI suspect’s blood.
These No Refusal Operations ensure that scientific evidence is obtained in all DWI cases and provides the prosecution with strong evidence of guilt or innocence. Many Montgomery County law enforcement agencies have committed to increasing DWI Enforcement to catch as many impaired drivers as possible.
Andrew James, Vehicular Crimes Chief: “The Super Bowl should be a night of fun. We want everyone to enjoy the game safely. If you are planning on going out to watch the game, plan on how you are going to get home. Call a cab, use Uber or Lyft, or have a friend or family member stay completely sober to drive. Even one drink can impair a person’s judgment. Don’t put yourself, or others, at risk because you chose to drink and drive.”
Under implied consent laws in every state, motorists automatically give consent to alcohol testing when receiving their drivers’ license. If a driver is suspected of DWI, they are typically asked to submit to a breathalyzer test to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or more face DWI charges. Drivers who refuse blood alcohol testing in Texas automatically have their license suspended for 180 days.
Texas’ “no refusal” program is a law enforcement policy that addresses driving while intoxicated (DWI). Under Texas’ “no refusal” program, if a motorist refuses to submit to blood alcohol testing (BAC), law enforcement officers can electronically request a search warrant for a BAC test. The ability to obtain an electronic warrant from a judge eliminates the usual time delays associated with a request for a search warrant; electronic warrants can be sent directly to law enforcement officers via computer or cell phone. This is particularly important in DWI cases: prior to advances in technology, during the time it took to obtain a search warrant, the suspect would begin sobering up at such a rate that, by the time the warrant was issued, the blood alcohol level may dip below the 0.08% threshold.
In situations where a warrant has been issued, law enforcement officers in Texas are authorized to use force to obtain a blood sample. And while you may technically refuse a court-ordered BAC test, it results in serious consequences.
Friday night which was the start of this weekend didn’t look too promising for the rest of the weekend. Several drivers decided to ignore the warnings. Due to this, there was a head-on crash with injuries at Fire Tower and FM 1485 just after 9 pm when an impaired driver crossed the center line. Law Enforcement stayed busy rest of the night having to transport intoxicated drivers to hospitals for blood draws and then to the Montgomery County Jail.